Young Woman Killed By Big Rig Tires While At Rest Area
Gautier, Mississippi – A 21-year-old woman has died after she was struck by tires from a semi-tanker at a South Mississippi rest stop on Tuesday.
According to Gautier Police, Margaret Maurer, a student at Tulane University, and two friends were traveling eastbound on I-10 when they stopped for a restroom break at a rest stop in Jackson County, just west of the Pascagoula River Bridge.
As the young women were getting back into their car the unthinkable happened. Two tires broke off of a semi-tanker as the truck was traveling westbound on I-10.
The dual-wheels careened through the eastbound lanes and into the rest stop on the south side of the interstate before fatally striking Margaret. The tires also struck the 4-wheeler Margaret was traveling in as well as a second vehicle.
Capt. Casey Baxter with Gautier Police Department indicated the dual-wheels broke free as the semi exited the Pascagoula River bridge. Investigators said the tires traveled approximately 850-875 feet before striking Maurer.
The tires then traveled another 100-150 feet down an embankment. Authorities reported the truck is owned by the New Jersey-based Dana Transport.
Investigators said the truck driver told them he realized he lost the tires and turned around shortly after exiting the bridge. The trucker, whose name has not been released, was not arrested or cited.
However, police indicate their investigation is ongoing.
Local news outlet WLOX reported Maurer was originally from Forest Lake, MN, which is about 25 miles northeast of St. Paul. She and her friends were traveling while on spring break.
Tracy Nelson Maurer, Margaret’s mother, told WLOX that her daughter was an “extraordinary young woman” that brought joy to many people. “She’s our precious daughter, and we’re just heartbroken. No words for it,” she said.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to monitor new developments.